We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions from our membership to provide more clarity about what you can and cannot do in Queensland after Friday, 17 December.
Q: Have government public health orders for mandatory vaccination in Queensland been published?
A: Yes, the new Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction (Direction) was published on Tuesday 7 December 2021 on the Queensland Health website available here. The new direction puts in place vaccination requirements for some businesses.
Q: What businesses do the new requirements apply to?
A: The ‘vaccination entry requirements’ apply to businesses listed in schedules 1A and 1B of the Direction, including:
- hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs, bars and function centres;
- nightclubs, live indoor music venues, concerts, theatres and indoor amusement venues;
- casinos and most gambling venues;
- stadiums for all major sporting matches and events with more than 5,000 visitors;
- theme parks, zoos and aquariums, showgrounds, festivals with ticketed entry, government-owned galleries, museums, libraries, and historic sites;
- Prisons and youth detention centres;
In addition, some other businesses, activities or undertakings have different density limits or caps on visitors if unvaccinated persons are present.
However, vaccination entry requirements do not apply to the following:
- Retail businesses;
- Hairdressing, beauty therapy, massage and day-spas, and other personal appearance services;
- ‘Takeaway shops’ with ‘no or minimal seating’;
- Food courts;
- Convenience stores
Q: When do the vaccination requirements come into effect?
A: The new requirements come into effect on Friday 17 December 2021.
Q: I operate a general retail business. Do staff and customers need to be vaccinated to work or enter the place of business?
A: No, there are no vaccination requirements for either staff or customers for entering a place of business that people normally enter for the purposes of accessing retail goods and services. See the table in schedule 1C of the Direction.
Q: I operate a critical retail business. Are there any different requirements applying to me?
A: Unlike previous Queensland public health directions, there is no distinction between “essential” and “non-essential” retail businesses. Under schedule 1C. there are no vaccination entry requirements for a place of business that people normally enter for the purposes of accessing retail goods and services.
Q: As a retail business, what other requirements do I need to follow?
A: You need to collect contact information electronically from each staff member and adult customers using the Check In Qld app.
Q: Do staff have to check in every time they arrive for work?
A: Yes, unless the person is under 16 years old.
Q: Do staff in my distribution centre have to be vaccinated? What about delivery drivers and other contractors?
A: No, there are no requirements under the new Direction for distribution centres or warehouses, or for delivery drivers or contractors.
Q: I operate a hospitality business. What are the vaccination entry requirements?
A: Visitors and staff aged 16 years or older are only permitted to enter or remain on the business premises if they are fully vaccinated or have a medical contraindication. Proof of vaccination or of a medical contraindication must be provided prior to entry or being served or otherwise on request.
Q: What are my obligations as the operator of the business?
A: You are required to:
- Request and sight proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of a medical contraindication before assisting or serving a visitor;
- take reasonable steps to ensure that a visitor who doesn’t meet the requirements does not enter the place of business;
- Request each staff member to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of a medical contraindication, and keep a record of each staff member’s vaccination status and what kind of evidence was provided;
- Ensure that staff who are unvaccinated are not permitted to enter, work in or provide services at the place of business;
- Clearly display the requirement for staff and visitors to be fully vaccinated and provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination or a medical contraindication;
- Clearly display Check in QLD App QR code;
- Collect contact information for staff and customers;
- Operate in accordance with the COVID-19 checklist or COVID safe plan.
Q: Are there any exceptions to these requirements for visitors?
A: You are not required to request proof of COVID-19 vaccination where a visitor:
- is or appears to be under 16 years old; or
- is exercising law enforcement or other functions on behalf of a government agency; or
- is entering in an emergency or to provide emergency services; or
- it is not reasonable to collect contact information due to a risk to someone’s safety.
Q: What counts as proof of COVID-19 vaccination?
A: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination can be in the following forms, whether printed or electronic:
- Written confirmation of a COVID-19 vaccination provided as part of the vaccination process, such as a record of vaccine card;
- Vaccination information displayed on the Check In Qld app;
- A COVID-19 Digital Certificate;
- An Immunisation History Statement;
- An International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate from the Department of Home Affairs or an official record or vaccination provided to the person when vaccinated overseas.
Q: What counts as evidence of a medical contraindication? Is a medical certificate enough?
A: Evidence of a medical contraindication means a COVID-19 vaccination medical exemption recorded by a health professional on the Australian Immunisation Register, displayed on the person’s immunisation history statement. A medical certificate is not sufficient.
Q: Can I choose to trade with unvaccinated staff or customers and have social distancing and density limits instead?
A: No, the Direction has clarified that this is not an option.
Q: I operate a café or restaurant in a shopping centre. Do the vaccination entry requirements apply to me?
A: Yes, but unvaccinated persons can enter the shopping centre and can buy takeaway from your hospitality business. You do not need to collect contact information.
HAIR & BEAUTY
Q: I operate a hairdressing business. Can unvaccinated staff and customers enter my place of business?
A: Yes, but you must adhere to a density quotient of 1 person per 2 square meters regardless of whether unvaccinated people are present or not.